APAS Toolkit

The Aboriginal Parenting After Separation (APAS) Toolkit was developed by the Law Courts Education Society of BC to assist Aboriginal Community Workers. The Toolkit includes a number of tools that you can use to help parents deal with a family break up. The tools are categorized under six topic sections. Click on the title of each section to access the tools you need. You can view and print each of the tools free online, or purchase the complete, handy and portable APAS Toolkit.

Getting to Know Your Client: Assessment

To help parents handle the difficulties of separation and create a positive environment for the children, the first step is to get to know your client and assess where they are in the separation process. The assessment section is meant to be a starting point for your conversation. The tools provided may be used according to the needs of your client.

Part 1: Self-Awareness

With separation, adults experience loss at many levels. The loss of the partner and the loss of hopes and dreams they had for their relationship are common. These can affect their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. This section focuses on the emotions of separating, the stages of loss and grief, healing principles and taking care of things.

Part II: Focus on the Children

Like adults, children experience stages of loss and grief. Children may feel that the separation is their fault or that one parent does not love them after the separation. Often parents are having difficulty dealing with their own loss and as a result they are not really focused on their children. This section helps parents to understand that good parenting from both parents during and after the family break up can really have a positive effect on the children and their behaviour.

Part III: You and the Other Parent

Parents who are separating need to move away from an intimate relationship with the other parent to a 'formal' relationship, which is centered on the children and good parenting. Children need both parents and both families and will benefit from a respectful and co-operative relationship. Learning to communicate effectively with the other parent is a key component of co-parenting.

Parents will also have to deal with the legal issues involved in separation and decisions here will focus on the best interests of the child. Preparing a parenting plan for the family is a very important part of the separation process.

Part IV: Finances

The process of ending a relationship is a challenging one for parents. In addition to dealing with their emotions, helping their children and formalizing new parenting arrangements, your clients have to deal with changes to their financial situation.

Information in this section looks at the role of the client in managing their finances, the emotions that can affect the financial negotiations, financial abuse, the financial stages of separation, becoming financially literate, debt resolution, legal agreements and orders, strategies for reducing conflict around extra and unexpected expenses, and resolving legal issues such as child support, spousal support and division of assets and property.


This section includes a contact list of a number of agencies to which you could refer your client for additional assistance. Also there is a list of References and Reading Resources and a list of Words to Know.